Author Topic: In line at the grocery store  (Read 5236 times)

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Shea

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In line at the grocery store
« on: June 18, 2013, 08:09:43 AM »
This happened to me the other day, and I was wondering if I committed a queue faux pas or not. I was in line at the grocery store, next in line and with my items on the counter (small neighbourhood grocery, no conveyer belts), when I realized that I had accidentally grabbed the wrong can (pumpkin pie filling, rather than plain canned pumpkin). Since the woman ahead of me still had quite a number of things to be scanned, I left my few items on the counter and quickly ran back to the shelves to exchange the cans, which took around 30 seconds because the store is small. When I returned, I found that a guy, who had not been in line when I'd left, had pushed my items farther away from the cashier and set his stuff in their place, taking the place before me in the queue. I was a bit surprised, since in the same situation I would have simply waited for the other person to come back (the cashier was still helping the woman in front of me) but I wonder if he was actually in the right, and I forfeited my place in line by going off to get something else. In any case, he had only a few things and I wasn't in a hurry, so I wasn't bothered (except by him touching my groceries, but that may not have been wrong either). What does everyone else think?


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perpetua

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2013, 08:13:28 AM »
I'm not sure this is a case of him pushing in front of you and rather that he had no idea there was anyone in the line when he got there. You say he wasn't there when you left. He probably thought someone had just left their groceries on the counter and left.

GoTwins

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2013, 08:16:16 AM »
If you hadn't returned by the time the cashier finished with the customer ahead of you, he would have been O.K. to go next. I think he was very rude to touch your groceries.

lowspark

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2013, 08:38:28 AM »
In your place, I probably would have set aside the pie filling, just telling the cashier I didn't want it, then gone back after checking out to get the other kind of pumpkin if I really needed it urgently. Only because I don't want to leave my groceries unattended.

You took a risk that if the cashier finished with the customer ahead of you before you returned, you'd either be holding up the line or someone would have the right to go ahead of you.

I don't think the guy who did go ahead of you was right. He should have only gone ahead of you if the cashier was ready to start ringing up the next customer. But you sort of left yourself open to that by walking away.

However, what if that guy had had a grocery cart full of stuff? And what if you had not returned by the time the cashier was available? That would have created a situation of the other guy having to wait for you to return or somehow load up a cartful of groceries ahead of you.

I think it's not that great of an idea to run back for something in this sort of situation unless you have someone shopping with you who can stay in line with the groceries.

Honestly, I don't think that what either of you did was particularly egregious, though.

Eden

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2013, 08:43:51 AM »
I don't really think anyone was in the wrong. Were I the guy, I probably would have done the same as a pp suggested and waited until the cashier was ready for the next customer and, if you still weren't back, push ahead of you. But I'd say there really was no misstep.

RebeccainGA

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2013, 08:45:25 AM »
I see this all the time - people forgetting one thing, or got two and one was different than expected, or whatever. At my grocery store, they send the bagger for things like this, if you're already checking out, but if you are really just running for one thing, I don't see an issue with stepping away for a second, as long as you tell the person behind you and/or the cashier. I've even seen it happen that the cashier finishes with the person ahead and starts ringing up the person that's gone running - and it saves time for everyone.

The guy was rude - not ninth circle of e-hell rude, but rude nonetheless.

acicularis

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2013, 09:29:37 AM »
He probably thought someone had just left their groceries on the counter and left.

Really? How often does that happen? I've never seen someone bring groceries to the checkout and then just leave. I have however, seen people run back for forgotten items many times, and that's what I would have assumed had happened.

I think the guy should have waited to see if you came back before jumping ahead, especially since the cashier was still helping the person before you.

MrTango

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2013, 09:31:14 AM »
I think it was odd (I won't go so far as to say rude) of him to jump ahead of your things while the cashier was still helping the person in front of you.

On the other hand, if the cashier had finished ringing up the person in front of you, then he would be absolutely fine to not wait for you to return before going through the checkout himself.

WillyNilly

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2013, 10:28:55 AM »
I think your misstep here was not saying anything. Just a quick "hey I'll be right back, just have to exchange this can" to the cashier (which the customer in front of you would have no doubt also heard) would have secured your spot. because then when the guy came and started pushing your stuff one of them would have presumably said "oh that person is coming right back."

Of course if you weren't back in time for your turn, I think it would have been ok for the cashier to ring the guy up, but since that wasn't the case, its not relevant. Next time just cover yourself and communicate.

fountainsoflettuce

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 10:40:50 AM »
Sorry, you left the line so you lose your spot.   He wasn't there when you left so he had no idea if you would be returning or how long it would take you or how long you've been gone.   Neither he nor the cashier are mind readers.   I've often seen "abandoned" groceries on the belt at the store and the cashier has not idea what's going on, even if the customer told the cashier they had to pick up something.  However, if you discovered the error early during checkout and told the person behind you that you had to make a switch and you literally ran to the aisle to do so, and if I was behind you, I wouldn't mind so much and would watch your groceries while you made the switch.

My opinion is definitely biased as I hate grocery shopping and standing in line at the grocery store.   If I was in your shoes, I would have told the cashier I did not want that product and continued checking out.  Then either go back and get the correct item or wait to get it on another day. 

Figgie

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2013, 11:01:53 AM »
If I can't find one item, I wait until I am checking out and tell the cashier what it was that I forgot.  She sends someone to get the item while I checking me out and I don't need to leave the line at all.  Since I am always, always asked if I found everything okay and have never had a cashier even blink at the request, I think this is the best way for me to handle this kind of situation.

I don't think that the person behind you should have moved your stuff if the person ahead wasn't finished checking out, but I would have made sure that the check-out person knew that I was leaving for a single item before I left so that he/she could tell the person who moved the groceries that someone was in line.

Chenskitchen

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2013, 11:16:01 AM »
I think the guy should've waited for the next person to be called before going ahead. 

Isisnin

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2013, 11:25:18 AM »
Sounds like the cashier had not yet finished with the person in front of you.  In that case, I'd say the guy was selfish, but not rude.  Anyone leaving the line, runs the risk of loosing their place.  Even if that person tells the cashier or another customer "I'll be right back" or whatever. If the cashier is ready to start ringing up another customer and the person who left their items is not in sight, another customer should start being run up. 

but your story sounds like the guy just walked up, saw your items and not you, pushed your items aside, and took your place - event though the cashier wasn't yet ready to ring the next person up.  Yes, you choose to risk loosing your place and so the guy wasn't rude.  But a truly considerate, polite person would have waited to go ahead of you until the cashier was ready to start ringing someone up and you were no where in sight. 

But he wasn't rude to touch your items.  You choose to leave them there.  You don't actually own them (yet).  They are grocery items owned by the store.  They get touched all the time by strangers until the customer actually buys them and they are put in the customer's bag.

MariaE

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2013, 11:29:55 AM »
If I can't find one item, I wait until I am checking out and tell the cashier what it was that I forgot.  She sends someone to get the item while I checking me out and I don't need to leave the line at all.  Since I am always, always asked if I found everything okay and have never had a cashier even blink at the request, I think this is the best way for me to handle this kind of situation.

I've never been to a supermarket where that wouldn't take up a lot more time than going to get it myself. It would require the cashier to page somebody (we don't have baggers), them to actually answer the page (might take awhile - especially if it's busy), me to explain what I need, and then them to actually go get it. In that time I could have run to get it myself 2-3 times over!
 
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Figgie

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Re: In line at the grocery store
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2013, 11:32:25 AM »
If I can't find one item, I wait until I am checking out and tell the cashier what it was that I forgot.  She sends someone to get the item while I checking me out and I don't need to leave the line at all.  Since I am always, always asked if I found everything okay and have never had a cashier even blink at the request, I think this is the best way for me to handle this kind of situation.

I've never been to a supermarket where that wouldn't take up a lot more time than going to get it myself. It would require the cashier to page somebody (we don't have baggers), them to actually answer the page (might take awhile - especially if it's busy), me to explain what I need, and then them to actually go get it. In that time I could have run to get it myself 2-3 times over!

Since I'm in a wheelchair :)  it is almost always much quicker to send someone else for the item that it is for me to go and get it myself.  Often because it is an item that I just couldn't see because it was too high for me. 

It's one of the reasons that I only shop at full service grocery stores as that way there is always someone to bag and carry my groceries out.  Since those services aren't offered at all grocery stores, I do what I can to make it easier for everyone by not shopping there!